Since the beginning of his presidency, Barack Obama has been chipping away at the Constitution, eroding the separation of powers, diminishing the authority of the Congress, and strengthening the ever-widening grip of the executive branch.
Now, just when so many people have been expecting Obama to issue an executive order regarding amnesty for illegal immigrants, here comes a different initiative — a move to impose sweeping climate rules not by the stroke of the presidential pen, but by an international agreement mandated through the United Nations.
That’s right, the President of the United States is aggressively working to undermine US sovereignty, subjecting the nation to the authority of the UN.
The New York Times reports that the Obama administration has been working quietly behind the scenes to fashion a “legally binding agreement” that would essentially make an end run around the Congress, breaking not only with long-established tradition but also with Constitutional principles.
The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.
In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.
“If you want a deal that includes all the major emitters, including the U.S., you cannot realistically pursue a legally binding treaty at this time,” said Paul Bledsoe, a top climate change official in the Clinton administration who works closely with the Obama White House on international climate change policy.
Of course, this new effort to nullify the power of the Congress doesn’t mean that Team Obama won’t pursue immigration reform through an executive action. It simply means that lawmakers will have yet another potentially disruptive Constitutional crisis to deal with.
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